The whistle-blower website just dropped 91,000 secret documents, which were simultaneously published by The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel. There are many revelations and more to come, but we already know that NATO forces appear to be responsible for hundreds of unclaimed civilian deaths and injuries, that a “black” unit has dispensed with the justice system, and both Taliban attacks and collaboration with foreign powers, including our allies in Pakistan, may be on the rise.
The logs detail, in sometimes harrowing vignettes, the toll on civilians exacted by coalition forces: events termed “blue on white” in military jargon. The logs reveal 144 such incidents.
Some of these casualties come from the controversial air strikes that have led to Afghan government protests, but a large number of previously unknown incidents also appear to be the result of troops shooting unarmed drivers or motorcyclists out of a determination to protect themselves from suicide bombers.
At least 195 civilians are admitted to have been killed and 174 wounded in total, but this is likely to be an underestimate as many disputed incidents are omitted from the daily snapshots reported by troops on the ground and then collated, sometimes erratically, by military intelligence analysts.